A Female Perspective on the Domain Industry

Mou Mukherjee is an industry veteran and a friend who is Head of Registry Services at .CLOUD, which is an iQ customer.

I originally approached Mou about doing an interview for the iQ Podcast on the successes and challenges of running a new gTLD registry. At some point during our initial conversation, I recall Mou mentioning her unique experience of “being a woman of color, born in India, raised in Canada, working for an Italian company, and doing business in China.”

That’s when it hit me. “Mou, I think you have an amazing story to tell that will inspire and help others! We should do an interview that speaks to this! (The irony of me being a male suggesting and then conducting this interview is not lost!)

So this interview is a bit of a departure from the usual. We spend the first half of the discussion going through Mou’s early days in the industry, and then her observed successes and challenges of running a registry, etc. The last half is all about her lived experience as a female in the domain industry.

Thank you Mou for opening up the door a bit to your amazing story.

In addition to subscribing and listening wherever you get your podcasts, you can also listen to the interview via the Alexa Home Assistant.

Just say: “Alexa, play iQ Global Podcast, Episode 14.

A major upgrade for a tool helping to fight abuse and build a safer internet

I’m pleased to announce a major, significant abuse management tool upgrade, from all of us at iQ, that helps in fighting abuse and building a safer internet. iQ Abuse Manager v2!

It’s designed for domain name registries, back-end RSPs, registrars, hosting companies, domain administrators, DNS Slave Server Providers, and SaaS platforms.

There’s way more to show than what the below overview video touches on. Please contact me if you’d like a full demo. Otherwise set up a free 14-day trial now and test it yourself. It takes less than 5 minutes to get going.

How .BANK addresses the Cybersecurity Problem

We’re all aware of ongoing cybersecurity problems these days. Who hasn’t received a suspicious phishing email or link that if clicked could end up turning over your personal information and passwords to criminals?  Almost no domain extension is completely safe from this and other forms of abuse.  Many consumers are not completely aware of how to protect themselves or what trust signals to look for when doing business online.

The vast increase in demand for digital products and services, especially as a result of the pandemic, was not lost among the founders or the .bank domain extension. Just as .edu is only for schools, and .gov is only for .government, .bank is only for verified banks.

It’s super restricted and has layers of cybersecurity requirements for its registrants. Watch or listen to this latest iQ Podcast episode and learn more about the .bank story, and how they are making the internet a safer place for banks and their customers.

If you could fix one thing on the Internet, what would it be?

The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) is the world’s largest international coalition fighting Internet crime with cooperation from industry, government and law-enforcement sectors, and NGO communities.

The APWG’s Co-Founder and Secretary-General, Peter Cassidy, is one of the world’s foremost experts in digital security and fighting cybercrime. Without a doubt one of the most illuminating and brilliant minds I’ve ever had the pleasure of connecting with in recent years.

In our 10-minute podcast, Peter opines as to why fighting abuse is important, his involvement in creating STOP. THINK. CONNECT. ™, what Job #1 should be for companies looking to improve their cybersecurity, and, if he could fix one thing on the Internet, what would it be?

Abuse & Brand Protection Trends in African TLDs

From my post on the iQ blog:

We’re all back from our summer vacations and once again busy producing new video interviews and podcasts with a variety of industry experts for your viewing and listening pleasure in the upcoming weeks and months!

To that end, I spoke recently with Daniel Greenberg, who is the Director, CEO, and Founder of Lexsynergy, a UK-based domain management and online brand protection specialist registrar with additional offices in Ireland, the USA, South Africa, and Australia. Some in our industry refer to such registrars as “corporate registrars.”

I’ve known Daniel and his company for several years, and from conversations at various industry events was aware of their particular expertise in dealing with African TLDs. (e.g. .ml – Mali; .ga – Gabon). As we are receiving abuse reports from our sources for a select group of African TLDs, I thought it would be a good time to catch up with Daniel and get his take on the latest concerning Internet usage, brand and IP protection issues, and abuse in African TLDs.

Just want to listen? Here’s the podcast version:

A Female Perspective on the Domain Industry | Guest: Mou Mukherjee iQ Global Podcast

EPISODE 14: Mou Mukherjee, Head of Registry Services at .CLOUD, speaks with Pinky Brand, SVP at iQ, about her journey in the domain name industry, her challenges in running a registry, and her lived experience as a female in the industry. Navigate directly to specific topics by clicking on the below chapter time stamps: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=88s (1:28) – Tell us about your journey in the domain name industry. How did you first get involved? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=247s (4:07) – You left the industry for a while. Why did you decide to return? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=485s (8:05) – Tell us a bit about .CLOUD and what you do there. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=664s (11:04) – What do you attribute to .CLOUD’s success? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=1090s (18:10) – What challenges did you face running the registry in the early days? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=1325s (22:05) – Marketing and selling premium names as a registry https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=1752s (29:12) – You are a woman of color, born in India, growing up in Canada, working for an Italian company, and doing business in China. How has it all shaped your views on running a business that is truly international in scope and scale? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=2185s (36:25) – Where did you go to find mentors and coaches? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=2422s (40:22) – Is it trauma, imposter syndrome, or both for some women in our industry? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BIJMZ5gd4P8&t=2735s (45:35) – Reflections on the personal journey. Self-exploration and transformation. Published: 14 December 2021
  1. A Female Perspective on the Domain Industry | Guest: Mou Mukherjee
  2. What's new with Abuse Manager v2.0 | Guest: LG Forsberg
  3. How .BANK addresses the Cybersecurity Problem | Guest: Drew Schiff
  4. Abusive Domain Names & Defensive Domain Blocking | Guest: Kevin Kopas
  5. Anti-Phishing Working Group | 10 minutes with Peter Cassidy, Co-Founder

Premium Domain Names | A .cloud & European perspective

I had the pleasure of speaking recently with Shaun Wilkinson, who is an industry friend and a customer (.cloud is a customer of iQ) regarding the development and brokering of premium domain name inventory from a registry operator point of view, specifically his experience as Head of Premium Names at .cloud, and how the pandemic and cloud computing sector is affecting naming trends.

Until we connected for this interview, I didn’t realize that Shaun speaks six languages! He is from England, lived in Italy, and now resides in Germany, and thus brings a European perspective to the new gTLD market.

Another interesting tidbit about Shaun: He founded and runs an official charity, the Hope Children’s Center, which supports and maintains schools in poor areas of Kenya. If you’ve attended domain or hosting industry events you’ve probably heard about it. However, in case you haven’t, we spend the last five minutes learning more about this wonderful cause.

Just want to listen? Here’s the podcast version:


I&JPN Toolkit: DNS Level Action to Address Abuses

In this video interview and podcast for iQ, I spoke with Elizabeth Behsudi about the recently published I&JPN Toolkit on Domain Name System (DNS) Level Action to Address Abuses.

This new resource intends to support domain name system operators in the design of their DNS abuse-related activities, notifiers in the detection and reporting of problematic activity within the DNS, as well as legislators, and law enforcement to determine procedures for dealing with different types of DNS Abuse.

I had the opportunity to learn more about all of this by speaking with Elizabeth Behsudi, who is the Director of the Domains & Jurisdiction Program, and Secretariat at the I&JPN. Please have a watch or a listen!

Just want to listen? Here’s the podcast version:


iQ Abuse Report Overview & AbuseStats.com

One of the brains behind iQ’s brand new and free iQ Abuse Report service is my good colleague LG Forsberg, our CTO at iQ.  I put him in the spotlight for this discussion, and LG provided an overview of this service that is designed to allow anyone to gain daily insight into whether you or someone else has a problem with domain name abuse.

Just want to listen? Here’s the podcast version:


How Spamhaus addresses DNS abuse

In this latest segment of the iQ video blog series, I conducted a wide ranging discussion with Carel Bitter, the Head of Data at Spamhaus. Carel is is part of the very fabric of The Spamhaus Project, having been with the organization for over a decade.

Topics include:

  • How is the Spamhaus Domain Block List (DBL) used?
  • How is the list compiled? How do you calculate it?
  • Comments on real data vs. fake data use trends.
  • Comments on measuring the effect of price vs. measuring # of abuse reports in new gTLDs vs. ccTLDs and legacy TLDs.
  • How can a TLD or registrar get off the “bad list”?
  • How can a registry, registrar, or registrant remove a specific name or bulk list of names from the DBL?
  • What about domains in the DBL where no evidence of spam is actually detected?
  • Any systematic way to provide a real time feedback loop on takedowns/serverHolds?
  • Why do some TLD or registrars suddendly appear and then disappear from the bad lists?
  • What about providing evidence? Is it possible to get email headers or other evidence with your reports?
  • What are some new attack vectors you are observing these days? What’s a “phishing rod” threat vs. a “phishing” threat?

I hope you find the inteview helpful to your operation. We all must continue to cooperate and share knowledge in the effort to fight DNS abuse.

Managing Domain Name Abuse

For episode #4 of the iQ video blog series, we took a deeper dive into the world of managing domain name abuse with iQ’s resident expert and czar of managing domain name abuse for a variety of iQ clients, Mr. Steinar Grøtterød, officially Director of Registry Operations & Compliance at iQ.

I had the opportunity to get Steinar’s opinions on such matters as:

  • How can a registry or registrar reduce the amount of duplicative and non-actionable abuse reports?
  • How do you get off a blacklist or bad list?
  • Should there be evidence standards from the reputation/blacklist providers?
  • What’s up with ccTLDs and abuse?
  • Why do European ccTLD operators, registrars, and resellers need to start paying attention to the NIS2 Directive?